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Monty Waldin

Published:  11 August, 2011

The biodynamic winemaker's view

 

The steady rate at which global vineyards have converted to organics or biodynamics since 1995 will now augment dramatically. By 2015, 15% of both France and New Zealand's vineyards will be organic or biodynamic.

 

By then perhaps laggardly Australian winegrowers will accept organic compost and cover cropping can make their ever scarcer irrigation water go much further than any of their techno-babble deficit irrigation systems - or even render irrigation superfluous.

 

Global wine oversupply makes "premiumisation" a lifeline for wine's bottom-feeders.
Organics offers them rungs up the quality ladder and potentially fatter margins, even if cash subsidies for organic conversion remain scarce.

 

With scarcer water and fossil fuels, expect more rain barrels under winery roofs, more solar panels on them and more biodiverse vineyards: horses in for tractors, sheep and chickens on winter weed control, and petrol-hungry fertilisers replaced by four-legged fertility factories called cows.

 

Increased adoption of flowering cover crops will spawn fewer vine pests and more terroir-specific honeys from vineyard beehives. Biodiverse vineyard farms growing other fruits, vegetables, or herbs on spare land will become more desirable places to work and will give local families with kids multiple reasons to stop and shop. The perfect cellar-door product may become no-added-sulphur wines, which usually travel poorly.

 

For wine exporters organics offer zero liability as big wine buyers like Germany and the US block imported bottles containing even a micron of herbicide or pesticide residue.

 

While rule-setters keep disagreeing about a single global bio wine standard - the US and Europe are at loggerheads over exactly what kind of support posts bio vineyards can have - wineries may put their organic bona fides in their top drawer rather than on their bottles to avoid having to design potentially different labels for Japan, Canada, the US, and Europe.

 

Label frustration should help the world's only dedicated biodynamic wine body, France's SIVCBD (Biodyvin), become a world leader by attracting winery members from elsewhere in Europe, but, more significantly, from the New World.

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UK riots: £80m in lost sales for retailers

Published:  11 August, 2011

The cost of riots across England is put at £80 million in lost sales for retailers, according to research from Kelkoo.

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Boom in fine wines by the glass

Published:  11 August, 2011

High-end restaurants are offering more wines by the glass in an effort to up-sell, create more choice and add "theatre" to wine choices.

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Viñalba secures ninth national listing

Published:  11 August, 2011

Argentinian wine brand Viñalba has secured its ninth national listing, this time at the Co-operative.

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Sterling falls after downgraded UK economic growth forecast

Published:  11 August, 2011

Sterling fell by 1% against the US dollar yesterday after the Bank of England downgraded its economic growth forecast for the UK.

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Diemersdal winemaker launches Sauvignon.com

Published:  10 August, 2011

The South African winemaker, Thys Louw, has launched Sauvignon.com, a brand that aims to challenge the way people think about wine and engage with new consumers.

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Renaissance opens sixth site

Published:  10 August, 2011

South London bar operator Renaissance Pubs has opened its sixth site, the Rosendale in West Dulwich.

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Laithwaites plants UK's smallest producing vineyard

Published:  10 August, 2011

Laithwaites Wine has planted what it claims is the smallest producing vineyard in the UK, which will be entirely looked after by staff.

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Bordeaux Index - future en primeur prices will remain high

Published:  10 August, 2011

Top vintages are likely to continue to be priced "aggressively" in future en primeur campaigns, after the 2010 market remained strong in July, according to Bordeaux Index.

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Pub and bar rental values remain in decline

Published:  10 August, 2011

Pub rental values have been taking a hit since the beginning of 2007 and there is no sign of an uplift, according to Fleurets' annual Pub Rental Survey.

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UK Riots:Live Updates and trade reaction

Published:  10 August, 2011

Keep up to date with the latest news, updates and how the trade is reacting to the UK riots with our live news updates through the day.

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Sterling plummets due to UK riots

Published:  10 August, 2011

Sterling plummeted against the US dollar and the euro yesterday as investors became concerned over poor manufacturing data and spreading UK looting and violence.

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Top restaurant attacked by rioters

Published:  09 August, 2011

Top London restaurant the Ledbury was targeted in rioting last night ? staff came to the rescue of diners who hid out in the wine cellar.

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Sainsbury's sees sales increase in bag-in-box range

Published:  09 August, 2011

Sainsbury's has seen a 5% sales value increase after moving its Sainsbury's bag-in-box BIB, wine range over to a 2.25 litre pack.

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William Grant & Sons appoints former Gucci head

Published:  09 August, 2011

William Grant & Sons has announced the appointment of former chief executive officer and president of the Gucci Group, Robert Polet to the company's board.

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'Safe haven' sterling makes gains over euro and dollar

Published:  09 August, 2011

Sterling made gains against both the euro and US dollar as investors bought into what is now seen as a safe haven asset.

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Grant's launches premixed whisky cans

Published:  09 August, 2011

Grant's has launched its first-ever ready to drink product ? Scotch whisky and cola in a can ? which will be on sale from this month.

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UK RIOT UPDATES AND LIVE TRADE REACTION

Published:  09 August, 2011

Retailers, pubs and restaurants are taking precautionary measures to guard against further potential rioting as the trade comes to grips with the violence that has broken out across the UK's major cities. Keep up to date with our regular UK Riot Updates.

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Wines in the press - August 5-7

Published:  09 August, 2011

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett has been drinking, Vinho Verde - the light, slightly fizzy and low in alcohol Portuguese wine, which she says is just what you want on a hot summer's day, assuming we ever get one.

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Pop-up bar offers English fizz and oysters

Published:  08 August, 2011

This summer has been the season of the pop-up and it isn't over yet with a glamorous oyster and crustacea bar opening up in Chelsea.

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